Thursday, December 19, 2002

Well the past week has been marked by a transition of sorts. On Friday, our co-worker Ambrosia and her friend Sarah decided that they had had enough of Ulsan and were going to head back to the United States. It was a difficult decision, and we were sad to see them go. The situation is made more difficult as we are now short one teacher and Amy and I have to work a bunch of extra shifts. It makes for longer days, but we do get paid overtime for it, so that's good.

On the upside though, we inherited a lot of Ambrosia's stuff, including appliances, furniture and most importantly a mobile phone! Now you can reach us anytime at 011-82-16-254-0167.

On Saturday, Amy and I headed over to our director's house for a traditional Korean meal including Chapche which is mixed vegetable and beef stir fried with rice noodles. It was very tasty and after the meal, we all went out for a stroll up a little hill next to our director's apartment.

There are many huge apartment complexes in Ulsan, most people in fact live in apartment towers and houses are quite rare in the city. This is due in large part to the rapid growth the city experienced after the Hyundai Automobile company decided to locate its manufacturing plant in Ulsan and the city grew very quickly from a sleepy fishing port to a large city of over a million people. Land is also at a premium because much of Korea is quite mountainous, and flat land is mostly consumed for agricultural and industrial purposes.

Saturday night, Amy and I decided to head out to check out more of the bars in Ulsan. We were feeling a little alone and in need of socializing, because our only English-speaking friends had just left us to go home!

We went to the Royal Anchor pub, which is a nice British style pub (memories of the Frog!) located in the old-Downtown of Ulsan. While we were there we met two Americans, Will and Leigh who both work for ExxonMobil on large oil platform projects that are being built at the Hyundai shipards. Both are about our age and are from Houston, though Will is originally from Cleveland. Will had just arrived in Korea about 2 weeks ago and Leigh has been here since about July. We hit it off well and spent the evening chatting and downing Korean beer.

Sunday, the four of us went out on the Hash run, which this time wound it's way from the beach out to the same rock promontory (the Daewangnam) which Amy and I had explored last weekend. It was a lot of fun, and this time Will and Leigh, being hash virgins, were subjected to the down-downs. After the run, we returned to the clubhouse at the Foreigner's compound for some excellent Curry soup. We spent the afternoon in the bar watching the England vs. New Zealand rugby test match (which England won 31-28) with a bunch of crazy ex-pats. The atmosphere was a lot of fun, with a lot of good-natured ribbing between the Brits and Kiwis. We returned to our house and spent the evening relaxing and preparing for the week ahead.

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